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Hormones and Cytokines

Cytokines

The term “cytokine” is derived from a combination of two Greek words – “cyto” meaning cell and “kinos” meaning movement.

Cytokines are low molecular weight proteins that are responsible for intercellular communication in immune responses, and help to stimulate the movement of cells towards inflammation, infection or trauma.

Cytokines are classed as proteins, peptides or glycoproteins and encompasses a diverse group of regulators that are produced throughout the body.

Hormones

The term hormone is derived from the Greek ὁρμή, “impetus”

Hormones are essential for every activity such as digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction and mood control. They work by sending out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism and all affect many different processes such as

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood

They are secreted by special glands (endocrine) and the major glands are the:

  • Pituitary
    • A gland found at the base of brain behind the sinuses. Often referred to as “master gland” because it influences many other glands, especially the thyroid. It can affect bone growth, a woman’s menstrual cycles, and the release of breast milk.
  • Pineal
    • Found near the centre of the brain that may be linked to sleep patterns
  • Thymus
    • Located in the upper chest that helps develop the body’s immune system early in life.
  • Thyroid
    • A butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck that controls metabolism.
  • Adrenal glands
    • Two glands that sit on top of the kidneys that release the hormone cortisol.
  • Pancreas
    • Islet Cells in the pancreas control the release of the hormones insulin and glucagon.

If there is a malfunction with one of these glands then it can lead to an endocrine disorder or disease.

Endocrine disorder is typically grouped into 2 categories:

  • A gland produces too much or too little of an endocrine hormone, called a hormone imbalance.
  • The development of lesions (such as nodules or tumors) in the endocrine system, which may or may not affect hormone levels.

Are you developing an assay to measure levels of cytokines / hormones?

BBI can help.

We offer a diverse range of markers that are ideal for numerous applications including life science research, immunodiagnostic platform assays, ELISA’s, lateral flow, and quality assurance control manufacture.

See the table below for details on our flagship products in the hormones and cytokines area.

Name

Function

Human Chorionic gonadotrophin Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) consists of an alpha and beta subunit with a combined molecular weight of 39.5 kDa, and pI 4.9. The alpha subunit is identical to that of FSH and LH. HCG assays are used for the diagnosis and monitoring of tumours of the testis and of the ovary. Levels are significantly elevated during pregnancy and monitored in blood.
Sex hormone binding globulin Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is a protein with a mol wt 90 kDa containing two subunits. SHBG transports the sex steroids testosterone, DHT and estradiol in the blood. Serum levels are increased during pregnancy, in women taking estrogens and in men over the age of 50. Levels are reduced after menopause and in response to treatment with androgens or corticosteroids. Diagnostic uses include polycystic ovary disease and tests for liver and thyroid function.
Growth Hormone (Recombinant) Human Growth Hormone, also known as somatotropin, is a protein hormone of about 190 amino acids that is synthesized and secreted in the anterior pituitary. It is a major factor in the control of several physiologic processes, including growth and metabolism. The majority of the growth promoting effects of growth hormone is actually due to IGF-I acting on its target cells.

 

Find out more about our range of hormones and cytokine proteins, visit the BBI Store >>

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